Did you know goldfish will grow to the size of their environment? Typically they stay small because they are kept in small bowls (or die within 24 hours- it’s a toss up) but if allowed to they can grow to be quite large. I’m sure this is true of other types of fish as well, but I’m not one for detailed research and tons of facts and statistics so this snippet will have to do.
Have you ever considered the theory the same might be true for us? Not physically, of course, but hear me out:
I grew up in a VERY small town in Iowa- we’re talking 3 stoplights- and a general rule of thumb is if you can in fact count the stoplights off the top of your head, it’s pretty stinkin small. Once I graduated High School I couldn’t wait to move out. I went off to college a couple of hours away, which may as well have been a world away because this small town girl was so not ready.
At 18 I moved to Iowa City which by “city” standards it hardly qualifies, but to me the transition was overwhelming. I stumbled through this new life where not everyone knew my name, my parents, and my siblings. It was far beyond my comfort zone and my original “tank” and that’s when I really began to grow.
Fast forward about 7 years- I had gone through cosmetology school, started my career doing hair, and married and divorced my high school sweetheart. (There are a lot of stories from those years, but for the sake of this post we’ll talk about those another time!) I was 25 and in what I referred to as my “quarter life crisis”. I needed a fresh start so naturally I packed up everything I could in my car and moved to Charleston, SC. That’s what everyone would do, right?
Apart from one of my best friends from High School I didn’t know a soul- and that both excited and terrified me. Ready or not I was diving head first into a MUCH larger tank! The growth to follow over the next couple years before meeting my husband is nearly immeasurable- I struggled a lot and lost my way more than once, but boy did I grow.
Chad and I met, were married, moved from SC to Nebraska, then got pregnant all within 6 months- and if you follow our story at all you know that we haven’t slowed down since. I guess you could say we have a pretty big tank at this point. We have decided to lean into our fears and challenges and go for it.
Sometimes I wonder who I would be if I never had the courage to make that first move- I may have missed a lot of pain and struggle, but I would have missed so much more beauty and growth.
Are you letting fear keep you from growing into the person you’re meant to be? Is it time for a bigger tank?